Have you ever read the book The 4-hour week by Timothy Ferriss? I read it a couple of years ago, and it made me think very hard about the way I do my job. Is there anything that I should not do? Are there tasks that I could outsource? I ended up asking my employee to hire an assistent for me, which he did. It has helped me to do my job better and in less time.
With friends, I have often discusses if there’s more that could be outsourced, even if I had to pay for the service myself. While we liked the idea in principle, none of us , at least to my knowledge, has followed up on that idea.
Now today I read this blog (for the German readers: You can find an article in Zeit Online as well). A guy named Bob really took the 4-Hour-Week lessons to the extreme and outsourced his entire activities as a developer to an Chinese company. And not only this: It looks like he took on a couple of other jobs in addition!
So while he was still spending the day in the office, surfing and watching cat videos, somebody in China was developing away for a small percentage of Bob’s salary. The Chinese logged in to the company VPN and delivered code that led to Bob being elected as the best developer of the company for years!
Hell, I have to read the book again and rethink this approach! And I have to investigate outsourcing to India in more detail!
One problem might be that I really don’t like cat videos
Are you tired of hotel breakfast? And paying for WiFi? WiFi that might not even exist in your room, because it’s only available in the lobby? Well, I am.
Think about a standard hotel like the Holiday Inn at Gare de’l Est in Paris. You pay 15 € for the breakfast (scrambled eggs from powder, bread that would need some more baking, sweet stuff all over …) and you pay 10 € per day for the WiFi access. WiFi really works only in the lobby and bar area, in your room you have to buy cable access, which adds extra cost. And if you own an nice computer like I do, it won’t even feature an ethernet plug anymore …
The alternative is really simple:
In the morning, step out of the hotel, go around the corner. Here you find bars and brasseries with excellent breakfast offers (2 * coffe, omelette with ham and cheese) for 9 €. And the WiFi is free and fast.
Same is true for the evenings. Rather than staying in your hotel room, hang out in the bars and restaurants. Work and eat for less, and sometimes it even happens that people start talking to you. In any case, while doing your email you can take a break and watch the crowd.
That’s what they say! And generally speaking, I agree with them.,
But today, I’m out of luck. First I tried Hertz, and here is what I got:
Then I went on to the competition, the AVIS website.
Looks like I have to call the help desk.
Not my day – or their day.
On Friday Christian Campo and myself visited a startup company in Kassel, Germany.
They design, program and manufacture what they call intelligent autonomous vehicles, the next generation copters. The idea is that the hexa-copters can be used for unmanned surveillance missions that needed way more expensive methods in the past: One example that Joerg Lamprecht, the CEO of the company describes involves these vehicles inspecting building status or taking high-precision arial photos.
As with all the other manned or unmanned vehicles I’ve been dealing with lately, these machines rely heavily on the software that comes with them. While there’s a whole bunch of other issues like robustness, weight and construction, the big challenge is to provide software that doesn’t need an experienced pilot to fly around a building and take head-photos.
Logically, the company has a couple of cool software developers to provide a platform system for the copters that integrates all access to navigation, flight control, camera adjustment and such. On the other hand they are very interested in developing apps that can be used on top of the platform. These apps could be maneuvers such as loopings or turns, or it could be even more complicated tasks like ‘fly around this building in a spiral and measure it’.
Time was flying by, and just before we had to leave Joerg took us to their manufacturing hall to see a bunch of young kids building the copter platforms. After the visit I was wondering what the banks and insurance companies have to do in the future to keep their developers from running away and doing cool stuff like Aibotix is doing.
Both Christian and I look forward to the arrival of the IoT!
In the last couple of days I experienced strange visitors on our holiday apartment site. They came through a TOR network and were trying to create users on the page. Apparently they understood that it was a Drupal site, because they had the right URL and everything.
I had never heard of TOR before, so I’m quite amazed to see visitors from the dark side of the internet. On the other hand, its a pain-in-the-butt to delete the 30+ users that they create on a normal day. Does anybody out there have experience with these types of attacks?
Whole bunch of stuff here. Likes for pretty much every social network, auto-posting to Twitter, Facebook and Google+, spam protection and what else.
Now that I went to getting all the credentials, the tokens and the very secret tokens I’m getting sort of tired. And I’ve given 10 bucks to Aksimet for protection. They have this weird registration site where you see a smiley looking at you sadly until you give him money. The more money you give, the happier he is looking. Actually, it’s probably not so stupid if I think about it. Don’t we all want to make somebody smile?
Anyway, in a second I will know if my post to Twitter works. Bear with me!
Spend quite some time to set up all my blogs and stuff, to post to Facebook, to collect statistics, to get away from Google Analytics and so on. Wanted to go to bed early last night, but guess what - I got really sucked into this time trap.
But I have achieved a couple of things, and I’m pretty happy with my progress:
So I had fun. But the night was over way too early.